From impromptu movie nights in a Seattle alley to the adapted reuse of Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia, Wolfe searches for the "first principles” of what makes humans feel happy and safe amid the hustle and bustle of urban life. He highlights the common elements of cities around the world that spontaneously bring people together: being inherently walkable, factors that contribute to safety at night, the importance of intersections and corners, and more. In this age of skyrocketing metropolitan growth, he argues, looking to the past might be our best approach to creating the urban future we dream about.
A whirlwind global tour, Urbanism Without Effort offers readers inspiration, historical context, and a better understanding of how an inviting urban environment is created.
About the author
Charles R. Wolfe provides a unique perspective about cities as a London and Seattle-based urbanist writer, photographer, land use consultant and attorney. He is a Visiting Scholar at KTH University (Royal Institute of Technology) in Stockholm, and a long-time Affiliate Associate Professor in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington, where he teaches land-use law at the graduate level. Wolfe is author of Urbanism Without Effort and Seeing the Better City, which informed his work as a Fulbright Specialist in Cairns and Townsville, Australia. He has contributed regularly on urban development topics to several publications, including CityLab, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, CityMetric, Governing, and Planetizen. He blogs at myurbanist.com.